The word ‘Nirvana’ is a complex word to understand. This is a term known to many Buddhist. It is said to be the ultimate goal that is reached during the state of enlightenment. Nirvana literally means to extinguish or blowing out. For the Buddhist to achieve nirvana means to extinguish desire, jealousy and ignorance. Once you achieve this you will be free from the cycle of rebirth. There are two ways for your funeral to happen whether you’ve achieved nirvana or not. You could choose to be buried in a cemetery or be cremated in places like the Mandai Crematorium. The most popular amongst Buddhist is cremation. This has been practiced for centuries and could be traced back to how the Buddha’s body was cremated too upon his death. When a Buddhist is dying there are monks that come to his or her home to comfort the dying with chants. When the person has died the monks continue on with the chants as the body is being prepared for cremation. It is believed that the chants help release the dead’s good energies.
Karma and Rebirth
So what happens when you have not achieved Nirvana? It is believed you continue on with the cycle of rebirth. That means after you die depending on the karma you have, you will be reborn into the world. You are rewarded for good karma and punished for bad karma. Karma is based on the actions of the person while he or she was still living. It is possible to try and work off the bad karma you’ve garnered throughout your past lives by trying to live the eightfold path and trying to earn the good karma. By doing this there is hope that in the next life that you are reborn you might be able to achieve Nirvana.